The Montclair State University community has been cheering for our fellow Red Hawk, student and Olympic figure skater Isadora Williams for months. We cheered as she practiced at Floyd Hall Arena on campus, when we saw her in classes, on NBC and on the cover of the Star Ledger. But the volume of support reached a new height this week, as Williams finally had her time on the ice at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
A dual citizen of the United States and Brazil, Williams represented Brazil in her second Olympic Games, having previously skated in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Her disappointing results at Sochi initially made Williams consider quitting her beloved sport, but ultimately, her strength of character compelled her to return to her training with a renewed determination.
Looking for redemption, Williams went into Tuesday evening’s Short Program a much stronger skater. Skating to Hallelujah performed by K.D. Lang, Williams delivered a perfectly executed routine, landing her in 17th place and earning a spot in the Free Skate on Thursday evening.
In a program that commentators called “very smart” and “a skate to be proud of,” Williams showcased her jumping skills early in the program, starting with a Triple Lutz + Double Toeloop. Putting incredible expression into the routine and landing each jump with ease, Williams scored a season high, and personal best, 55.74 points.
When Williams entered the rink on Thursday, she made Olympic history for Team Brazil as the first figure skater to make it to the Free Skate program. We applaud Williams for realizing her lifelong dream of skating in the Olympics and look forward to welcoming her back to campus, where she will continue her studies, but will always be the “primeira patinadora brasileira.”